Monadnock Community Hospital is proactively preparing for a surge in patients, recruiting volunteers to staff an alternate care site should it become necessary for treating non-COVID-19 related patients.
“The next week or two are going to be the peak weeks in New Hampshire,” Peterborough Fire Chief Ed Walker said at a virtual Select Board meeting last Tuesday. The hospital typically has 25 beds available for patients; they’ve increased that to 40, and have a supply of seven ventilators crucial for keeping advanced COVID-19 patients alive.
“I feel good about our plans,” MCH CEO Cyndee McGuire said Friday. “We have increased our beds to 40, we have plans in place for when we hit certain numbers, we certainly feel confident about our ventilator supply right now, and we’re feeling really good about where we are with our personal protective equipment.”
McGuire said the hospital receives shipments of COVID-19 swab tests from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services a couple times a week, meaning there are usually around 100 tests available at a given time for MCH’s curbside testing process. Patients with physician’s orders to be tested pull their vehicles up beside the emergency room, where hospital personnel in full facemask and protective gear perform the test – a long Q-tip-like swab up the nose – before sending it off to the state for results.